About Me

My photo
I am 36, married for 12 years to Sarah & have 2 wonderful kids. Luke (11) & Amelia (5) I live in North Yorkshire, roughly half way between the Yorkshire Dales and the North York moors. I adore photography, weddings and portraits are my speciality but I also love fine art, landscape and architectural work. Away from photography I have 2 other jobs, I am an active memeber of my local (PTA) Parent teachers Association for my childrens school.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Part 4 - Tips & Tricks at a photographers life

From last weeks focus based tips, i'm moving onto "Depth of Field" (DOF).  Everyone has seen photo's that are crystal clear.  From the foreground to the background.  You've also seen when the main subject is sharp and everything else is blurry

Depth of Field
This is 2 examples of the effect of Depth of Field (DOF).  The 1st example is a deep DOF and the 2nd a shallow DOF.
Digital cameras allow you to use this technique and maximise it to your advantage.

Some further examples are as follows:
  • Shallow DOF - this is most commonly used in portraiture by emphasising the subject.  Do this by either using a long focal length on your camera and/or a wide aperture F2.8 (See below for F-stop Jargon busting) You will get the effect of a sharp subject & blurry background.  You can also use the portrait mode on your camera if it has one.
  • Deep DOF - This is more flexible but a good example is landscapes. A wide-angle end of a zoom lens and an aperture of F8 will help ensure that the sharpness is carried on throughout the photo.  You can also use the landscape mode on your camera if it has one.
  • Close up (Macro) DOF - The depth of field here, maybe as, small as, 1mm or 2mmUse a smaller aperture to help deepen the field, if this is the effect you want.
Jargon Busting
  1.  Aperture - The circular opening inside a camera's lens that can change in diameter to control the amount of light reaching the camera's sensor.  These are quoted in F-Stops, the lower the number, the larger the aperture E.g. An aperture of F2.8 is larger than one of F8.  In other words the larger the aperture and shutter speed, the more light that hits the sensor.  Many camera's have an Aperture priority mode which allows experimentation.
  2. Depth of Field - The distance between the nearest and farthest points that appear in acceptably sharp focus in a photo.  Dependant on, lens, aperture, focal length & camera-to-subject distance.
  3. Focal length - The distance between the sensor (Or film on traditional cameras) and the optical centre of the lens when the lens is focused on infinity.  Focal lens is marked in millimeters on the lens (or mount) on those cameras able to do so.       

Business Corner
Don't forget to inform the tax office if you start self employment, they can assist you in a great deal of ways, they also run courses to help people filling out tax returns & keeping the correct documents.  Failure to do this may result in severe recriminations.

This weeks quote is "If you can dream, you can do it" - Walt Disney
                I'll be back next week with another installment, until then happy snapping!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

part 3 of tips & tricks at a Photographers life.

Well, the time has come around again for another installment in my tips & tricks newsletter.

Last week, it was about composition, this week i'm Focusing on Focus!
Nearly all digital camera's now have auto focus shown as a small square or cursor in the colour screen.  Many have multiple focus points, which ensure off centre subject also stay sharp.  But, how many times have you taken a picture of family & friends with a gap inbetween and the camera has focused on the wall behind?
If that has happened to you, read on to find out how to prevent such issues...
  1. Don't rush the shutter button - all digital cameras have a dual pressure shutter button.  Press this half way down, then wait, your camera will focus & confirm either by sound or a green LED will show in the display.  Once happy, then fully depress the button, which should result in a well focused shot.  Trying to do it quickly, in 1 big press will not allow time for the camera to set itself, risking a blurred image.
  2. If taking portraits, try to focus on the persons eyes.  Again, half press the shutter button and keep it half pressed, this allows you to recompose the shot, while still focusing on the eyes.  Complete the press to take the shot.
  3. Small groups - Try to recompose the shot, (while half pressing the shutter button) to reduce any gaps between people or focus, on one persons face, then recompose the shot.  This way you should ensure that the subjects are in focus and not the background.
  4. For Macro (Close up shots) and landscapes - a tripod or flat surface is Essential. 
Your local business link (different for each area of the country) are invaluable, in both their knowledge, resources and free training courses to ensure that you know as much as possible relating to your chosen area of business...Use them!  

Quote of the week is...Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero! (Seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow)

Get ready for next...same time(ish), same blog! 

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Part 2 of tips & tricks at a photographers life!


Camera tips & tricks...part 2

As discussed last week, my 2nd part of the series is upon us.  This deals with the really enjoyable part...taking the photo!

Everyone, can point & shoot, but to improve your photo's...Experiment!  The worst that can happen is you have to delete photo's that go wrong.

This is self explanatory but still experiment with both styles.

This will not apply to all situations however, it is common practice by professionals.
Imagine your LCD screen is split into a grid of 9 equal squares, 2 vertical lines & 2 horizontal lines (You can buy thin plastic covers for certain types of screens very cheaply or some cameras may provide this within the specifications)
If you position specific elements within a photo, where the lines intersect (Called "The Golden Means) the image can have more impact.  E.g. for landscape photos try the horizon in the top or bottom third.   When adding people try to place them at the intersect which will allow the background to be viewed in a landscape style photo.  
This is when the main subject of the photo is smack in the centre of the frame.  There should be a specific reason for doing this.  The image may be less pleasing to the eye.  Although, do not discount this composition, it can be effective when taking photos for selling on sites like EBAY and some symmetrical shots.
My main piece of advice is Experiment, all rules can be broken or bent or mixed to ensure that you'll learn quickly and achieve the required results! 


This relates to all business's not just photography...Market Research, Market research, Market Research!
Do your market research or even pay a company to do this for you!  Asking friends and family is not enough...There is a lot of information available via the internet such as, how many people live in a designated area, male or female etc...this will allow you to build a picture of your expected customers.
E.g. It would not be a good idea to set up a designer clothes shop in a town with an aging population and not much disposable income.

Well, thats it from me this week...part 3 to come next week!

Thanks for reading!!!

Quote of the week is..."Successful people always fail but are never scared to try again" - Anon